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Small Talk: It’s avocado season!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Never mind Christmas. It’s avocado season.

My frustrated farmer of a husband caught the avocado bug while we were courting and my parents still lived among 13 Fuerte avocado trees.

The first thing he would do, after my dad fixed us a cocktail, was head off into the grove armed with a tall picker. We never went home without several bags full. I still refer to it as my dowry.

We lost that supply, sadly, when my parents sold the house and downsized. But the husband planted at least six different varieties of the glorious, pear-shaped fruit in our backyard, just to see which might thrive.

It took a few years, but right now we are getting avos from three different trees — Fuerte, Reed and Douglas — with others flowering with the promise of future green gold.

I am sad that we don’t have sacks full to give away, as my parents had, but right this very minute we have a lovely basketful on the kitchen table.

They’re certain to make my coat shiny, as they did for my dogs, who would munch on the “drops.” Those were the fully ripe ones that had fallen from the tree.

Is there a bad way to eat an avo? I love them on toast, in salad, in sandwiches, in guacamole or just split in half with some truffle salt.

I rather wish you could eat them like an apple, but I expect I would look like a swamp creature if I tried. That reminds me, you can use them in a facial, too. I would never waste a perfectly good avocado that way, but you can.

The only time I almost got sick of avocados was in my senior year of high school. My girlfriend and I decided to throw a party and serve as much guacamole as we could possibly whip up.

This meant wandering the grove, trying to beat the dogs to the drops. Usually, about half the drop was rotten, but you could salvage enough to make it worth the trouble.

The problem was they really stunk.

Until you got through trimming the full buckets, the entire kitchen smelled like rotten avocado. And your prep included shoving a lot of bad avocado down the garbage disposal.

It took a while to get that smell out of my nose and my house. The party, however, was a huge success.

Pass the chips.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer happy as a girl in guacamole. Contact her at [email protected].

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